Steve Rochinski – A Bird in Hand

A Bird In The Hand Steve Rochinski
A Bird in Hand
John Barrett

Tiny notes in soft focus. On a stark background strings creep, thoughtful and light – Bill Evans with a guitar, sort of. You hear this on “Beautiful Love”, a tune Evans did: phrases exchanged with Scott Lee, who sounds like a second guitar. The interplay deepens, it slowly gets louder, and lastly the theme –more dream than song, and a sweet one. There’s more where that came from: floating sound and quiet moods. Elusive as a bird, and – sometimes – it soars.

“Monk’s Dream” picks up the pace, with some Monk chords from Steve! (Lee’s there too; he’s good and snaky.) Andy Summers tried this on his GREEN CHIMNEYS album; Steve does it better. Some tracks add piano, which muddies the water. (It’s hard to hear Lee, and that’s a bad thing.) The best quartet is “Tina”, with an icy-cool line (written by Tal Farlow, a teacher of Steve.) Here he turns active: a liquid tone with nifty sliding. The dancing is fine and Bruce Thomas’ comps are a joy. “Bird in the Hand” goes dub-crazy, and we get three Steves (one plays “Billie’s Bounce”!) A different sound, if a bit cluttered. By and large, the trios are best: they dig deep, and that’s where Steve excels.

“Get Out of Town” is literal; Steve goes to Brazil! As the samba ticks by, he carries on like Wes, then plucks high for echoing chimes. Thomas is nice, and Lee goes Spanish on his turn. “They Didn’t Believe” swings easy – friendly notes, with a little snap. The best trio, and some needed sunshine. “Stardust” twinkles: Steve is alone, and the sound is delicate. Lee joins in; it becomes “Body and Soul” — a seamless transition, with warm sparkles. And now it gets real soft: “Powder Your Face”, written by his grandfather 55 years ago, wrapped in springy chords. The tenderness here fits the quietude elsewhere; the warmth in some tunes balances the angularity of other. A gentler guitar than most, but at his best (“Believe”, “Stardust”) this bird sings!

Songs: Beautiful Love; Monk’s Dream; House Party Starting; A Bird in the Hand; ‘Round Midnight; Tina; Go Little Boat; Get Out of Town; They Didn’t Believe Me; Hassan’s Dream; Stardust/Body & Soul; Powder Your Face With Sunshine.

Musicians: Steve Rochinski (guitar); Bruce Thomas (piano); Scott Lee (bass); Joe Hunt (drums); Catherine Birrer (percussion on “Get Out of Town”).

For more info, contact: Jardis Music